Drip Emitter Troubleshooting – Drip Area is Showing 0 GPM (0 Flow), Pressure/Flow Rates are Inconsistent, or Flow Rates Are Incorrect
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Drip Emitter Troubleshooting – Drip Area is Showing 0 GPM (0 Flow), Pressure/Flow Rates are Inconsistent, or Flow Rates Are Incorrect


You're having an issue with pressure or flow rate calculation in one or more drip areas (Area for Drip Emitters, Drip Spray, or Dripline) in your drawing. Your drip area(s) may be showing:

  • Zero flow
  • Inconsistent or incorrect pressure or flow rates


One or more of your drip areas may be unable to read some or all of the plants in an attached Xref. You may also have tried calculating your flow rates manually (and verified that those calculations are indeed correct) and your manual calculations didn't match the flow rates you're seeing in your drawing.




You may have used our Verify Laterals tool on your plan and found that one or more drip areas have zero flow.

This issue can often result from drawing corruption. To prevent issues like this one, you should always be completing our drawing cleanup steps on your irrigation plan and all Xrefs.


Initial Troubleshooting Steps

Try these quick steps first to ensure the emitters are actually assigned and active.



1. Open our Edit Equipment tool, and select the emitter area with zero flow.








2. Click the Emitters button.




Select a different emitter type from the type you currently have selected (temporarily), and click OK.


You should now see a flow rate for the emitter area.




3. Change the emitter type back to your desired type.

Still seeing zero flow for the emitter area? Move on to the possible causes and solutions outlined below.




Possible Causes & Solutions

If the initial troubleshooting steps failed to result in a flow other than zero for the drip emitter area in your project, it's time to dig a bit deeper for one of several potential known causes of this issue.

Drip Emitter areas are not designed to function with Concept Plants. Any Concept Plants contained within your drip emitter areas will be ignored.



Don't have F/X CAD or AutoCAD 2018? Move on to the next possible cause.


How to confirm whether you have the CAD bug:


Place a Plant Schedule in your irrigation plan, making sure that the Include Xrefs option is checked.


  • If you are able to place a schedule and the irrigation file does not include any plants, you do not have the bug and can move on to the next possible cause.


  • If the schedule does not show up, you do have the bug




What to do if you have the bug:


AutoCAD 2018 users: If you're having this issue while using AutoCAD 2018, you may be experiencing an AutoCAD bug that prevents the system from reading objects in Xrefs – in this case, your drip areas. Your first step should be to update your CAD installation using the Autodesk desktop app. Still having the same issue? Contact your AutoCAD reseller for a fix.


F/X CAD 2018 users: If you have F/X CAD 2018, you may need to remove it and reinstall it from our website:





1. If you haven't done so already, use our Verify Laterals tool to identify the area with zero flow.




2. Select the bounding polyline of the drip area that is showing zero flow.




3. Type PROP in the Command line and press Enter to open the Properties panel.


Check the Area entry in the Properties panel. If it shows 0 (or 0.0000, etc.), it's an indication that the polyline boundary was drawn incorrectly in some way.


Is the Properties panel showing an area for the polyline boundary that apears to be correct? If so, move on to the next possible cause.

In this example, we'll show how to reverse the polyline, which may fix the issue.




4. To reverse the polyline boundary, left-click it to select it, then right-click.


In the menu that opens, hover on the Polyline option, then select Reverse from the sub-menu that opens.




5. With the polyline boundary still selected, check the Area entry in the Properties panel again.


If it shows an area, you may have resolved the issue.


If you still don't see an area shown, the polyline boundary may have overlapping sections that are preventing CAD from calculating the proper area. If so, zoom in on the linework of the polyline boundary and check for overlapping sections.


If you're unable to find an issue with the polyline boundary that is preventing CAD from calculating its area, or if you correct the polyline boundary but the drip area is still showing zero flow, move on to the next possible cause.




Drip emitters need to be assigned to plant container sizes within your drip emitter area. This step may have been skipped when the emitter area was added to your project.



Open the Equipment Info dialog box for the problematic emitter area by opening the Irrigation Manager, highlighting the emitter area, and clickingEdit.

You can also edit the emitter area by opening our Edit Equipment / View Data tool and selecting the emitter area in your drawing.



Click the Emitters button as pictured to the right.



You can now follow our steps to assign emitters to a plant container size in the emitter area.






Is your drip emitter area showing a flow rate (i.e., not 0), but the emitter quantity and/or flow rate are incorrect?

If you've already sized your laterals and/or have run an Irrigation Schedule and found that the flows or emitter quantities per container type do not reflect the manual calculation you've completed as a cross-check for the affected planted area, here's what to do.

If a drip area boundary lies within a groundcover area boundary, the drip area will be unable to read the plants in that groundcover area.


This issue commonly occurs with drip area boundaries that were created using a groundcover area boundary that includes arc segments. In this case, the system would have had to convert the drip boundary to all line segments. This in turn would have caused the drip area boundary to fall just within the groundcover boundary, preventing it from reading the plants.


If the drip area boundary is in fact within the groundcover area, you'll need to adjust the drip boundary to be just slightly outside of the groundcover boundary. The system will be able to read and count the groundcover if at least half of its boundary points distinctly fall within the drip area boundary. Also keep in mind that drip areas cannot just include part of a hatch. The drip hatch needs to be entirely within the drip area.

Because the drip area can't read just a part of a hatch, you'll need to split the planting area to the respective drip hatch area. You can generally achieve this split using our handy Polydivide tool – keeping in mind that the shape and area you're trying to divide may affect the tool's ability to work properly.

Avoiding Arc Segments in Your Groundcover Boundaries

In the future, if you plan to make drip boundaries from groundcover boundaries, it will save some headache to either decurve the groundcover boundary ahead of time, or to draw it without arcs.




Your pipe fittings may have a Z elevation, which may be preventing them from connecting with the dripline areas. To test for this issue:


Select a pipe fitting that's supposed to connect with a drip area.




Open theProperties panel by typing Prop in the Command line and pressingEnter.



Check the Position Z entry. It should read 0 (or 0.0, 0.00, etc., depending on your settings).




If any of your pipe fittings have anything other than 0 as a Z elevation (Position Z), do the following:


1. Open our UCS tool and restore the World Coordinate System (WCS).


2. Type Flatten in the Command line and press Enter.


3. When prompted Remove hidden lines?, select No and press Enter. Your drawing will have all Z elevations removed.

In the future, when creating a User Coordinate System (UCS), always use our UCS tool to avoid creating a UCS with a Z elevation.


If your drip emitter area is still not functioning or calculating correcty, move on to the next possible cause.






This issue can result from the irrigation and planting plans having been drawing in different units. (For example, the irrigation plan may be in feet while the planting plant is in inches.) Your first step should be to verify that both plans are indeed in the same units. If both plans are in the same units, your drip area may actually be unable to read plants in the Xref because you have errant plants in your irrigation drawing (Possible cause #7, outlined below).


Are your irrigation and planting plans drawn in different units? If so, proceed to Solution #2: Correct Your Units below.


If you found that your irrigation and planting plans were indeed in different unit settings (e.g., feet vs. inches), you'll need to correct your unit settings. Here's the simple workaround:


1. "Save as" the planting plan, and change its units to match those of the irrigation plan.


2. "Select all" in your irrigation plan.


3. Rescale your irrigation plan by typing Scale in the Command line and pressing Enter.


When prompted, set a basepoint. When prompted to Specify scale factor:

  • Type 1/12 if your planting plan was in inches and your irrigation plan is in feet.
  • Type 12 if your planting plan was in feet and your irrigation plan is in inches.


Press Enter to rescale.


4. Save the changes to the drawing.

5. In your irrigation plan, remove (detach) the old Xref planting plan. Then purge the drawing by typing PRG in the Command line and pressing Enter.


6. Attach the new planting plan as an Xref without a scale factor.


Size everything again in the irrigation plan. You should now see the flow.


Still don't see the flow? Move on to the next possible cause.





This issue commonly arises from plants that have been placed in the current drawing (your irrigation plan) without your knowledge.




In the following example, we have a drip area that's failing to read the plants from the Xref.




How do we know the drip area isn't reading the plants? Because when we attempt to view the area's data, the GPM reads as zero.



We'll view the area's data using our View Data/Equipment Info tool:




F/X Irrigation ribbon, Edit Equipment button



Irrigation Piping toolbar

F/X Irrigation menu, Edit Equipment option




The cursor will turn into a pickbox, and the Command line will prompt you to: Select object.




Clicking the boundary of the drip area, or the drip hatch within it, will bring up theEquipment Info dialog box.




In our example, theGPM (pressure) field shows a reading of 0.


This reading is a good indication that the current drawing contains a plant you don't know about, which is preventing your drip area from reading the plants in the Xref. If this is the case, you'll need to locate and delete any errant plants. (Read on.)

Drip areas will not function correctly in drawings that contain plants (as opposed to correctly configured drip irrigation drawings that have their planting plan completely in an attached Xref).


You might be lucky enough to simply see the errant plant in your drawing. However, the plant could be hidden by the plants in the Xref, or it could have been placed well outside the scope of your site design. Here's how to find and delete it:


Place a Plant Schedule

The easiest way to find an errant plant (or a few errant plants) in your drawing it to simply run a Plant Schedule. For help in generating a plant schedule, visit our Plant Schedules: Getting Started documentation.


When we ran a Plant Schedule on our drawing with the problematic drip area, we learned that the drawing did, in fact, contain a plant – even though we were unable to see the plant itself. When we placed the Plant Schedule, we learned that a Lantana x 'New Gold' has been placed in the drawing.




Locate and Delete the Errant Plant

Now that we know which plant has been placed in the drawing, we can use the Highlight Plant tool to find it.


First, open the Plant Manager to see a list of all plants that have been added to the current project.


Open the Plant Manager:


F/X Planting ribbon, Planting option




Plant Manager toolbar




Planting toolbar

F/X Planting menu, Plant Manager option





or type ProjectPlants in the Command line




In the Plant Manager, find and select the plant (or plants) appearing in the schedule.



Then click Highlight.




TheHighlight Plant tool will highlight any instances of that plant in your drawing.



In our case, the one plant in the drawing was extremely difficult to find.



In fact, it was well outside of the intended project site, and we were unable to see it until we zoomed out extensively.




Now that we've found the plant, we can delete it.




With the errant plant out of the picture, we can now check the pressure of our drip area.



Lo and behold, the proper GPM is now showing.




If you use this method to eliminate any possibility of errant plants in your irrigation plan, the issue may be resulting from plants in your planting plan that have lost their data. Time to move on to the next possible cause.




1. Check whether you've attached your planting plan to the drawing. (Without plants to read, drip areas can't register a flow rate.) If you haven't attached your planting plan, follow our steps to attach it as an Xref.

Have your tried our fxREF tool? It provides a quick and easy way to Xref your planting plan into your irrigation drawing. More information >


2. If the drip area is still not registering a flow, it's time to check all the original files you've Xrefed into your drawing to see whether you have plants in a nested Xref (an Xref within an Xref). Our drip emitter feature is designed to go down one Xref deep to look for plants and stop there if it finds some. If your plants are in a nested Xref, the drip area won't be able to read them.


Open each of the original files you've attached to your irrigation plan as Xrefs, and check whether these files themselves have Xrefs attached. (These are nested Xrefs.) If so, check whether any of those nested Xrefs contain plants. If so, locate those original files and attach them directly to your irrigation plan as Xrefs.

For more information on nested Xrefs, see our description of Xref attachments.




If your drip area is still not reading the plants, it's possible that the plants have been disassociated with their data. Open the original file that contains your planting plan (the planting drawing that you Xrefed into your irrigation drawing). Run a Plant Schedule in that drawing.


Check your Plant Schedule to confirm that the plants still have their data attached, and that they are actually project plants and not Concept Plants or Generic Plants.




For example, if your schedule is showing that a particular plant has only been placed twice (as pictured to the right), but the drawing is supposed to include several more versions of that plant, those other versions may have lost their data.




If a plant doesn't show up at all in the schedule, all placements of that plant may have lost their data.



If the data has been removed from one or more of your plants, you have two options:



Option 1: Restore a Backup of Your Planting Project

If all or most of your plants have lost their data, you can try following our steps to restore a backed-up version of the Land F/X project associated with your planting plan.


If you're unable to locate a backup of your project, if your backup is incomplete, or if only one or two of your plants have lost their data, you can try Option #2.



Option 2: Use Our Match Properties Tool to Restore Your Plants' Data

Still in your planting plan drawing, locate a plant symbol that has lost its data. Place the correct project plant near this data-less plant symbol.



Run our Match Properties tool. Select the project plant you just placed as the "source object," then select the data-less plant symbol as the "destination object."




If the drawing contains several versions of the same data-less plant symbol, you'll be asked whether you want to apply Match Properties to all instances of that symbol.



Click Yes to assign the correct project plant's data to all instances of that symbol in the drawing.




The project plant's properties and data will be assigned to all identical symbols in the drawing. You can now delete the extra project plant you just placed.


Repeat these steps for each plant in your drawing that has lost its data.


If the drip area in your irrigation plan is still unable to read the plants in the Xref, move on to the next possible cause.




As with all of your drawing files, make sure you're completing our drawing cleanup steps on each of your drawings – including all Xrefs.




You have two options for fixing this issue without the need to go into the LFX file for your project and edit it manually:


Option 1:

1. Delete the drip emitter equipment from project.


2. Add the drip emitter equipment back to your project using the Irrigation Manager.


3. Assign the emitters to plants again.


Option 2:

1. Edit the drip emitter equipment using either our Edit Equipment / View Data tool or the Irrigation Manager.


2. Select a new emitter size, and click OK.


3. Edit the drip emitter equipment back to the original emitter size.





You might be using outdated equipment, or equipment that is otherwise configured improperly. For example, you may have imported drip equipment from another project or template, but the specs of that equipment have changed since you last used them.


Try deleting the equipment from your project and then adding it back.




Last modified on Sep 02, 2021


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